ADVANTAGES

The third problem concerns the rationality of belief inepiphenomenalism, via its effect on the problem of otherminds. It is natural to say that I know that I have mental statesbecause I experience them directly. But how can I justify my beliefthat others have them? The simple version of the ‘argument fromanalogy’ says that I can extrapolate from my own case. I knowthat certain of my mental states are correlated with certain pieces ofbehaviour, and so I infer that similar behaviour in others is alsoaccompanied by similar mental states. Many hold that this is a weakargument because it is induction from one instance, namely, my own. Theargument is stronger if it is not a simple induction but an‘argument to the best explanation’. I seem to know from myown case that mental events can be the explanation of behaviour, and Iknow of no other candidate explanation for typical human behaviour, soI postulate the same explanation for the behaviour of others. But ifepiphenomenalism is true, my mental states do not explain my behaviourand there is a physical explanation for the behaviour of others. It isexplanatorily redundant to postulate such states for others. I know, byintrospection, that I have them, but is it not just as likely that Ialone am subject to this quirk of nature, rather than that everyoneis?

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